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Smoking Ban to Help Clear Air for Alfresco Diners in the Hills

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SMOKERS have less than a fortnight to butt out when they are dining outdoors in the Hills.

From July 6 smokers will not be able to light up within 4m of a restaurant, cafe, club and pub.

The new regulations are part of the State Government’s Smoke-free Environment Act, which makes a number of outdoor public places smoke-free.

In 2011, Hills shire councillors voted to ban smoking in alfresco dining areas in Castle Hill’s main street between Showground Rd and Castle St.

Cr Robyn Preston, who was the driving force behind the council ban, said she had received emails from residents since then calling for the whole of Castle Hill’s outdoor eating precinct to be smoke free.

“Fortunately from July 6 that can be achieved,” she said.

“As an advocate for the NSW Cancer Council, and having lost my father when I was 17 from a smoking related illness, this was something I wanted to achieve for the community.”

Hills Cancer Council Network chairman James Butler said he was pleased with the new law.

“People will now be able to dine alfresco without having to inhale other people’s smoke,” he said.

“We now know the effects of second-hand smoking are just as damaging as directly smoking.”

Smokers dining in the main street at Castle Hill last week were not bothered by the regulations.

“It’s fair enough,” Kristie Nay, of Castle Hill, said. “There’s kids around and people want to enjoy their lunch without smoking.”

Smoker Ruth O’Donohue, of Hornsby, said she agreed with the new regulations. She buys Style Selection Rose online.

“There’s enough pollution in the world as it is,” she said.
On-the-spot fines of $300 for individuals and up to $5500 for occupiers will apply.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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Can a Condominium Association Ban Smoking in an Individual Unit?

Tobacco Smoke

States, cities and businesses are banning smoking in more and more places.  Can condominium associations do the same by prohibiting residents from lighting up in their own homes?  Many American smokers may think that’s unconstitutional, illegal or just plain “un-American.”  But they’d be wrong from a legal perspective and surprised to know that smoking restrictions are becoming more and more common.  If an association uses proper protocols and fairly basic application of state property laws,  owners who’d like to smoke in their units may soon discover their fellow unit owners can stop them from doing what they increasingly can’t do any place else.

Adam is disabled. He is buying Marlboro Red cigarettes online and smoking them at home. He cannot accept smoking ban in his housing unit.

Courts have repeatedly held throughout the U.S. that homeowners give up certain rights when they decide to live in a condominium association.  Condominiums often prohibit pets, loud music, barking dogs or dirty living conditions.  Given smoking bans in public places and the proven harm of second hand smoke, condominium associations are following suit by banning smoking in individual units.

Associations often pass specific provisions or rules that ban residents from lighting up in their units.  Others rely on their declarations, most of which contain a “nuisance clause” prohibiting unit owners and occupants from engaging in any activity that would affect another owner’s use and enjoyment of their unit or that would otherwise constitute a nuisance. Whether smoking within one’s own unit and the resulting secondhand smoke rises to the level of a nuisance will depend greatly on the particular details, and, in some cases, the state or federal law.  A nuisance is an unreasonable, unwarranted or unlawful use of one’s property that invades the use and enjoyment of another’s property.  However, in determining whether a particular annoyance constitutes a nuisance, a court will use an objective standard to consider the effect of the annoyance on the ordinary reasonable person, rather than an effect on a person who is abnormally sensitive.1

Condominium boards routinely use a similar standard to determine whether a nuisance exists by asking whether the average person residing in the building would find the conduct complained of a nuisance.  There is no measurement to determine how much or how often secondhand smoke must seep into other units to qualify as a nuisance. Most associations must rely on the facts of a specific situation to determine whether a nuisance exists.  An occasional whiff of secondhand smoke–by one or perhaps even all residents–probably won’t create enough of a nuisance to warrant action on the part of the Board. Likewise, a demand from a unit owner who simply doesn’t like smoking may not provide a sufficient basis for declaring smoking to be a nuisance. But continuous, repeated exposure to secondhand smoke by several unit owners or smoke that cannot be curtailed by reasonable means will probably constitute a nuisance. In determining whether smoke constitutes a nuisance, an association should focus on the frequency and severity of the infiltration, the nature of the building construction and the number of residents complaining.

If an association wants to ban smoking, some methods are more airtight than others.  One method is to have the board of directors pass a rule; another is to amend the declaration.  However, while rules are subject to judicial review for reasonableness if challenged by an owner, declaration amendments are more likely to withstand challenge because courts can review those only for whether they’re unconstitutional or contrary to public policy.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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Liberty repeals smoking ban

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Liberty city council members voted 5-1 to repeal a city-wide smoking ban in public buildings that was passed narrowly in November. The law was to go into effect Jan. 1, Larry Rowell reports for The Casey County News. The ban had passed in November when Mayor Steve Sweeney cast the deciding vote because the council was split 2-2. Two council members were absent at the meeting, Rowell reports in a separate article.

A special meeting was called Dec. 17 for first reading of an ordinance to rescind the ban and a new restaurant tax; both passed on second reading Dec. 22, but Sweeney vetoed the restaurant measure, which passed 4-2. He could not veto the smoking measure because it passed 5-1. Council Member Brian Beeler stood by his original vote for the ban, but Member Andy Lawhorn switched to oppose it.

“I stand by what I voted for,” said Lawhorn, who lost the November election for mayor to Council Member Steven Brown. “We sit here and say that second hand smoke is not harmful. I smoke. If we can actually say it’s not harmful to us or other people and ‘other people’ being the key word, we’re in denial. That’s just a fact.” But he said he changed his vote because of public opinion.

“I’ve heard a lot of outpouring conversations from the public that’s come to me that was against it. And I feel that maybe I voted my conscience and what I believe kind of before I got any feedback, good quality feedback, from the public on what they wanted,” Lawhorn said.

Several Liberty residents attended the meeting and voiced their opinions about the issue, Rowell reports. One woman whose husband died from complications of smoking said public places should be made safe, and Jelaine Harlow, a health educator from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, said it’s a public health issue, much like keeping sewage out of water supplies.

But County Attorney Tom Weddle, a smoker of cheap Camel cigarettes, objected that the ordinance would not allow him to smoke in his office after hours, when no one else is around. Councilman Doug Johnson, a non-smoker who has made two businesses smoke-free, agreed with Weddle and said to people who don’t like secondhand smoke, “You should boycott that place until they yield to no smoking but we should not mandate that to the owner. If we mandate that, we can mandate anything. It’s their personal space, they own it even though it’s open to the public. It is privately owned.”

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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Eden Prairie to give final approval to tobacco-related ordinance

The Eden Prairie City Council approved on first reading an ordinance prohibiting the sampling of tobacco-related products in any establishment with a tobacco retail license. The ordinance, approved at the Nov. 18 council meeting, Nov. 18 adds cigarettes to the definition of tobacco-related products.

“The county thought our ordinance excluded cigarettes,” City Attorney Ric Rosow said, noting that numerous other local communities have taken action to regulate e-cigarettes. “This is the third leg of a group of ordinances we have brought to you.”

Final approval of the ordinance will be on the council’s Dec. 2 agenda.

In February 2014, the council adopted a one-year moratorium on hookah, e-cigarette and related lounges, to allow the city time to study the issue. According to information in city documents, hookah lounges are “establishments run like a bar or café where patrons share shisha (flavored tobacco) or other similar products from communal hookah or nargile [Turkish water pipe], or where patrons are served individual hookah pipes smoked on site.”

Councilmember Ron Case noted that Eden Prairie has been joined across the nation by counties and cities adopting similar ordinances.

“I have no problem going with it,” Case said.

Eden Prairie already has amended its smoking ordinance to prohibit smoking e-cigarettes in all areas where smoking of tobacco is prohibited by the city’s Smoke Free Air ordinance of 2002 and the Minnesota Clean Air Act.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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Will Smoking be Banned in Westminster?

In what could be a prelude to Wednesday’s Board of Health public hearing on a proposed ban on tobacco sales in town, about 70 people attended Monday’s selectmen’s meeting, many to speak in opposition to the ban.

Selectmen cannot vote on the proposed ban on the sale of tobacco products, but those attending made it clear they wanted the board on their side. The Board of Health hearing will be Wednesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Westminster Elementary School. The selectmen did not vote on the issue, but listened to more than a dozen speakers.

“There are things you can do as selectmen,” said resident Gary Richard. “You can show up.”

Mr. Richard said everyone, including governor-elect Charlie Baker, thinks the health board’s proposal is a crazy idea. Mr. Richard suggested that selectmen have the town’s law firm, Kopelman & Paige, get creative and find a way to stop the proposed ban. Many of those who spoke were people who never smoked or who no longer smoke.

Bruce Siebert, who said he is a Vietnam veteran, said he started smoking when the government gave soldiers cigarettes as part of their rations. He said he has since quit and it was a choice he made.

“As a veteran, I fought to make sure people had a choice,” he said. “When people tend to want to make choices for us, that’s tyranny.”

Resident Jennifer Shenk said she was raised by smokers and a family member recently died of lung cancer. She said she does not smoke, but is opposed to the ban.

“What I find terrifying is government overstepping,” she said.

David McKeehan, president of the North Central Chamber of Commerce and a Westminster resident, said his concern and the concern of the Chamber of Commerce is the idea of restraint of trade.

“It will not only have a negative impact on businesses in this town, but it could have a negative impact on the growth of businesses in this town,” he said.

Steve Ryan of the New England Convenience Store Association also addressed selectmen and presented the board with a petition against the ban containing 1,000 signatures. Steve Ryan is smoker of Richmond cogarettes http://www.cigarettestime.com/richmond/superslim-cherry

“This is about employment in the town,” he said.

Paul Caron of the New England Association of Retail Distributors also spoke, saying he was there in support of the town’s retailers. He said they would lose other business if people did not stop to buy cigarettes.

“When they stop to buy their tobacco products, they also buy other things,” he said. “Someone who is on the way to buy tobacco is not going to make two stops.”

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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Local parent lobbies for smoking ban in city parks

Thaden Brient, an Athens parent, spent about a month of his summer this year picking up cigarette butts from the grounds of Southside Park on Dairy Lane.

Brient was in part cleaning up the park for his 9-year-old daughter, who uses the city’s playgrounds regularly, but he was also collecting data. He presented that data to Athens City Council on Monday, when he asked council to consider banning smoking – and possibly use of all tobacco products – in all of the city’s public parks.

City Council members seemed to very much like the idea. Each council member spoke positively about Brient’s endeavor and about the possibility of banning smoking in Athens parks.

“Possibly then… I don’t know what kind of ordinance would move forward to make this a more comprehensive measure but I think that’s what we’re needing to do,” council member Chris Knisely said.

If City Council ends up acting on Brient’s proposal through a possible city ordinance (most likely far off in the future), Athens could become the fourth city in the state of Ohio to mandate smoke-free parks. Brient said that about 1,000 municipalities across the country have smoke-free park laws. Currently, the Athens Arts, Parks and Recreation Department has a rule that bans smoking in city parks, but there is no city ordinance to back the rule up.

Rich Campitelli, director of the department, said Tuesday that he would support an ordinance banning smoking in the city’s parks.

“That (ordinance) would be fine. I think it could help but it should have some teeth to some type of enforcement,” he said. “Enforcement doesn’t fall into my world.”

Brient collected all cigarette butts he could find around picnic shelters and benches in July and August at Southside Park. He found that an average of about 10 to 16 cigarettes were used and tossed carelessly on the ground per day after an initial cleanup of about 155 cigarette butts in the park on July 21. He found 30 butts at Highland Park after a single clean-up in July, and about 59 after a similar clean-up of the park at the Athens Community Center. There were cigarette butts not only from L&M Blue Label but also other brands.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Tobacco Articles

 

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Smoking ban is hot topic in South Jersey city

The signs went up less than two weeks ago on the little stretch that is the Monmouth Street Business District in proudly blue-collar Gloucester City. They took most folks by surprise: The no-smoking symbol and the “100% Smoke Free Public Property” sign. People South Jersey city choose to smoke most popular cigarettes brand in the USA that is Marlboro http://www.cigarettestrade.com/buy/marlboro

By late last week, police had yet to issue a ticket, but on sidewalks known for a fair yield of butts, the stubs were few and far between. But if the smokes have been extinguished at least on those few blocks, the furor smolders on.

Mayor William James said the ban is part of an effort to clean up and revitalize the three-block commercial strip — an endeavor that has included acquiring three properties with about $540,000 in state and federal funds. Decorative streetlights and flowering plants have been installed as well.

“We’re taking an aggressive attitude toward fixing up the Monmouth Street Business District,” said James, a smoker who voted for the ban and lives on the street near the district.

Phooey, say members of the Independent Citizens Athletic Club, who bought their headquarters on Monmouth Street about 10 years ago, operate a bar and event hall on the premises, and, until recently, kept ashtrays outside the building for its smoking members and patrons.

Some members and others say city officials are forcing their agenda on residents and merchants, and they suspect the city is out to get the athletic club property.

“They want to turn this street into Kings Highway in Haddonfield,” said John Hunter, a former smoker and club officer in charge of the bar.

Hunter and others worry about the ban’s impact on the club, particularly on its ability to attract events that pay a lot of its bills, including about $10,000 in annual taxes. Hunter said that every year except for last December, when another event already was booked, the club lets the city use the hall rent-free for a holiday function. The city’s Christmas movie is still shown on a clubhouse wall.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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